We get all sorts of questions about the WIW. One of the more interesting ones I received was how exactly did the conference come about? Funny you should ask.
It all started nearly twenty years ago when I met a lady named Amanda Gellman at the Jewish Community Centre. Both of us had the same idealistic belief that Windsor desperately needed a home for the arts right in the heart of the city. We both wanted a charitable centre where everyone was welcome, whether you had money or not. We also wanted the centre to have all of the arts there with lessons in every aspect of ART.
I dream big but Amanda always dreams bigger. She bought a building on Ouellette Avenue! It needs a ton of work, and a ton of money sunk into it, but while that is being done, Amanda founded the Windsor Centre for the Arts and Film Making. In 2014 Amanda and I agreed the next step would be to further expand our Literary arts industry and we would start with an International Writers Conference. This is where the late, awarding winning author, Alistair MacLeod became my hero and stepped in. He spent hours and hours helping me devise our conference’s fabulous format, what our mandate would be, and what essential classes were needed for writers to succeed. Our second hero was Marty Gervais who added input as well. After the success of the first conference, we began another one of Alistair’s ideas, the Young Authors Writing Summer Camp, that is now going into its third year.
Things have only gotten better. During the course of the year and from the monies earned at the conferences and camp, we offer various workshops and events for adults and children, including the fabulous Taste of Literature.
We are considered not only one of the best boutique Writers Conferences in North America, but also one of the most unique because we pay attention to morals and ethics in writing and incorporate different cultures and various aspects of the arts into the schedule. It is a real tribute to Alistair and his vision. With your support our successes can only be greater and make the Windsor region one of Canada’s leading literary hubs!
~ Pamela Goldstein